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Eye scans to replace passports?

Travelers seeking to zip through airline checkout counters and baggage claim stations may no longer have to wait in long lines. A new technology being tested by EyeTicket and the International Air Transport Association takes a digital camera and captures images of a passenger's eyes.
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Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on
Travelers seeking to zip through airline checkout counters and baggage claim stations may no longer have to wait in long lines.

A new technology being tested by EyeTicket and the International Air Transport Association takes a digital camera and captures images of a passenger's eyes.

The technology identifies people by the pattern of their irises--the colored ring around the pupil of the eye. McLean, Va.-based EyeTicket said the software then translates the iris pattern into a passport number or frequent-flier number so that the airport and airline computers can identify the passenger. The company said the technology could also be used for baggage checks as well as hotel check-ins and rental car pick-ups.

EyeTicket said the test run, announced last week, is being held in England's Heathrow Airport and involves up to 2,000 North American citizens who are customers of Virgin Atlantic and British Airways and who frequently travel to the United Kingdom. The participants are enrolled and pre-cleared by the U.K. Immigration Service and are required to look into a video camera when they arrive at Heathrow's passport control so their identity can be verified, according to EyeTicket. --Gwendolyn Mariano

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